As Chancellor, George Osborne spent the least time of anyone in the Treasury sorting out the economy. Ever the delegator, he left that minor job to someone else. He was tied up with the important stuff, permanent manoeuvres to ensure that he succeeded David Cameron as PM. Smoozing, threatening, devoting hours every week to cultivating Tory back-benchers and ingratiating himself with allies in the Press, this was the work that really mattered.
Rupert Harrison, Osbo’s Chief of Staff, was “the real Chancellor”. When Harrison left, the economy went A over T. Now Harrison turns on his old boss to slaughter George for an attitude to Brexit that is “too gloomy and over the top”.
On Twitter, Rupert criticised a leader column in the Evening Standard, edited by Osbo which summarised the government’s position over Brexit as ‘we don’t know’.
Rupert wrote: ‘My old boss [is] part of the consensus that is too gloomy on Brexit progress. Once [the] dust settles we will see outlines of UK position are pretty clear.’
Harrison dismissed the ‘fashionable view’ that the government had displayed a ‘lack of strategy’. And he warned the ‘main uncertainty’ about the success of Brexit was not talks with Brussels but MPs and ‘angry’ peers in Parliament.
Harrison also said it was a ‘non-starter’ for the UK to leave the EU but try to stay in the single market – a key demand of ardent remainers.
Rupert has been described by the Times. as “one of the most powerful unelected figures in government”. His departure was a huge blow to the Chancellor, who has never been up to his intellectual level.
It’s about time somebody slapped down bitter George, who has been working out his internal issues, spouting acid in the Standard. These days the paper makes miserable reading. Is there anyone Osbo doesn’t trash these days, but surely it has sunk in by now what leads to success is talent. It sticks out a mile you are jealous George. Get some therapy.